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Daniel Doubrovkine

aka dB., CTO at artsy.net, fun at playplay.io, NYC

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I’ve watched many Dan North’s InfoQ videos. I like 95% of what you say, Dan. But your latest Twitter whining on Ruby/Rails #fail have left my 2 y.o. son extremely disappointed. The thing is, you don’t believe in magic. And magic is what makes us, children, so very happy.

Seriously? You sound like a junior developer complaining. Get over it. Work things by trying to understand what’s underneath each issue, not by scratching the surface. Ruby is a dynamic language and the amount of layering going on is, indeed, very large and the errors that you get are often very confusing. Gem developers don’t do a good enough job to catch an error high up in the stack with a clear explanation – passing widgets into gadgets causes all kinds of unhelpful nonsense. It’s the nature of the beast.

Ruby has an amazing community that will help you. I will help you. Try this exercise: for every problem you hit, do spend at least 15 minutes reading the stacks and Google-ing the exception. Ask the IRC channel or the mailing list of the gem that’s failing. Isolate the problem in a smaller and smaller test. If everything else fails, post a repro somewhere. I personally volunteer to debug one of your issues a day. In exchange, once fixed, you will write a solution on your new blog dedicated to Rails #fail. I wrote my first line of Ruby three months ago and I did just that, which helped me got better at this. Deal?